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Mar 22, 2018

It has been many years since I've lived in a big city. I used to live in London, and part of me is still there, I think(1). If you follow my podcasts, you will know that I go back whenever I can, even if it is just for an hour's lunch with one of my girlfriends before I fly home. There is just something about the city vibe(2) that I love. It's intense, a showcase of human creativity. Samuel Johnson, a famous English writer from 1700's said, "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." This is an old English way of saying that there is all that you can experience/learn/admire in that city. To a large extent, I agree with him. There would never be any excuse to be bored in London, nor in any capital city. My good friend Sarah took me to a popular bar/grill/restaurant that is close to where she works, in an area called Shoreditch. Shoreditch is in East London, a very trendy, artsy place full of young energy, businesses, and development. As she works just around the corner from the Hoxton, she goes there frequently for lunch. It's sort of an all-encompassing venue. You can go there for a business meeting, to work by yourself on your laptop next to the fireplace, or to have a quiet coffee and read one of the many books they have in their library. But don't forget, it's a hotel as well, with over 200 rooms designed for comfort and with a modern flair. I too would be there often if I worked nearby. Its interior is inviting: cosy and warm colors, lots of brick and wood, and of course, large leather sofas. The main eating areas are more modern and compact to accommodate large numbers of people. When we were there, there was a loud hum of conversation as so many people had gathered in groups to hang out(3) and eat. I would definitely recommend the Hoxton to anyone visiting London. It's just the kind of place you need to have a good meal in  while you're exploring East London. So, of course I had a wonderful time with Sarah: great coffee, a trendy environment, and a good friend.

1. 'I think' ok, this sounds like an easy one, and it is. The reason I included it is because it is the sort of addition to a sentence that sounds native with a touch of humility and personality. There are many other additions to sentences that can be used.

a. That was a good bargain, I suppose.

b. We could wait until they can join us, I guess.

Try putting some at the front of the sentence.

c. Personally, I feel/what I think is that the meeting didn't cover all of the issues.

2. 'Vibe' is short for 'vibration' and is a very common and trendy word. We often talk of 'good/bad vibes' in a social situation or in a place. It is essentially slang, but is very mainstream.

a. The party had such a good vibe; everyone there was so nice.

b. I don't trust him; he gave me a creepy vibe.

3. 'To hang out' is also a trendy, mainstream phrase, though it used to be slang. It basically means to spend time with someone or in a place.

a. When we were in Paris we just wanted to hang out at the Louvre all day.

b. Why don't you come to the park with us and hang out?